Steelers damage Titans' playoff hopes, help own with win

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger ran for his first touchdown in three years, Chris Boswell kicked four field goals and the Pittsburgh Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 19-13 win over Tennessee on Sunday.

The Steelers (7-6-1) forced the Titans (9-5) into four turnovers and needed every one of them to win for the second time in three games. The Titans let a winnable game slip away, trimming their lead over Indianapolis in the AFC South to one game.

Despite the miscues, Tennessee drove deep into Pittsburgh territory in the final moments, but wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was tackled inches short of the first down at the Steelers 11 with 27 seconds to go.

Pittsburgh remained in the mix in the muddled AFC North despite managing just 168 yards of total offense. Roethlisberger threw for 148 yards to move past Philip Rivers into fifth on the NFL’s career yards passing list, but it was his legs — and Pittsburgh’s resilient defense — that provided the difference.

Ten days after getting gashed in a loss to Minnesota, the Steelers responded by picking off Ryan Tannehill once and recovering three Tennessee fumbles. Each turnover led to field goals by Boswell, the final one a 48-yard kick with 4:34 to go.

COWBOYS 21, GIANTS 6

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence forced a fumble and made two other big plays that led to 15 points and the NFL-East leading Cowboys inched closer to a playoff berth.

Dak Prescott threw for a touchdown, Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 13-yard run and the defense forced four turnovers, including Trevon Diggs’ NFL-leading 10th interception. The Cowboys (10-4) won their third straight. Greg Zuerlein added three field goals.

Graham Gano kicked field goals of 35 and 42 yards as the Giants (4-10) lost their third straight game with backup Mike Glennon starting for the injured Daniel Jones (neck).

This game was not as close as the score. Dallas has four takeaways in three straight games for the ninth time in team history, and the first since 1994. The Cowboys never trailed and the Giants never looked threatening against a defense that also got interceptions from Jourdan Lewis and Malik Hooker.

LIONS 30, CARDINALS 12

DETROIT (AP) — Kyler Murray's shaky performance against the team with the worst record in the NFL led to Arizona's first road loss of the season.

The Cardinals (10-4) started the day tied for the NFL’s best record, but were coming off a loss to the Rams. The Lions (2-11-1) were mired at the bottom of the league standings before the first snap.

Arizona missed its chance to get in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 with a win over a team it was favored to beat by nearly two touchdowns. The Cardinals can still earn a postseason berth during Week 15, but they’ll need some other playoff contenders to lose.

And in any scenario, Murray will have to play better. The third-year quarterback was 23 of 41 for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception, adding up to a 72.9 passer rating. Murray couldn’t get away from the scrappy Lions when he tried to run, and finished with 3 yards rushing on four carries.

Jared Goff, meanwhile, was the best quarterback on the field in one of many surprises at Ford Field. He completed 21 of 26 passes for 216 yards with three touchdowns.

Detroit’s Craig Reynolds ran for a career-high 112 yards and rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had 90 yards receiving, setting a season high for the second straight week, and a touchdown.

BILLS 31, PANTHERS 14

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes and Devin Singletary ran for a season-high 86 yards.

Allen finished 19 of 34 for 210 yards while Singletary kept Buffalo moving on the ground and opened the scoring on a 16-yard run.

The Bills limited Allen’s mobility a week after the fourth-year starter sprained his foot in a 33-27 overtime loss at Tampa Bay. Allen was sacked a season-high four times for 17 yards. He scrambled once for 26 yards in the third quarter.

Gabriel Davis scored twice, including a 20-yard catch on a post route for a 24-8 lead in the third quarter. Davis also scored on a 14-yard catch in the fourth quarter, and Stefon Diggs had an 11-yard TD grab in a game the Bills never trailed.

Buffalo (8-6) was at risk of its first three-game skid in three years. The Bills have won four of nine games and kept a hold of at least a wild-card spot. They can still repeat as AFC East champions, too, with a key showdown against first-place New England (9-5) next Sunday.

The Panthers (5-9) dropped their fourth straight and lost for the ninth time in 11 games. In a what-else-can-go-wrong season, Carolina was dealt a blow a little over an hour before kickoff when kicker Zane Gonzalez had to be helped off the field after hurting his quadriceps.

The Panthers passed up a field-goal attempt and failed to convert fourth-and-9 from Buffalo’s 24 to end their second possession. Carolina converted one of two 2-point attempts.

Quarterback Cam Newton has lost 12 consecutive starts for Carolina.

DOLPHINS 31, JETS 24

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — DeVante Parker caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa for the decisive points and Duke Johnson rushed for two scores.. The Dolphins extended their winning streak to six games.

Johnson, basically the go-to back for Miami as a last resort because of virus-related issues throughout the week, finished with 107 yards on 22 carries for the Dolphins (7-7), who rallied from an early 10-0 deficit. It was the first two-rushing-TD game of Johnson’s NFL career and the first 100-yard game from a Miami rusher this season.

Defensive lineman Christian Wilkins caught a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter for Miami, juggling the ball before controlling it and then letting loose with a wild celebration. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive lineman leaped into the stands, then did “the worm” in the end zone as teammates danced around him.

Brandin Echols had a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the fourth period for the Jets. Zach Wilson and Braxton Berrios rushed for scores for New York (3-11).

The Dolphins became the second team in NFL history to get to 7-7 after starting a season 1-7.

Jets safety Elijah Riley was taken off the field on a backboard after being injured during the third quarter, hurt in a collision with Jets teammate Kyle Phillips.

TEXANS 30, JAGUARS 16

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tremon Smith returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, ending the longest drought in the NFL, and then Texans beat woeful Jacksonville to end a three-game skid and extend their dominance in the series.

Smith somehow escaped five defenders near the 30-yard line – Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins broke his right ankle trying to make the tackle -- before coasting the rest of the way. It was Houston’s first kickoff return for a score since Oct. 4, 2009. Every other NFL team had enjoyed at least one since.

Rookie quarterback Davis Mills won for the first time in eight starts. He connected with Brandin Cooks twice for touchdowns, once early and again late. The second one was a 43-yarder that sealed yet another Houston victory against Jacksonville.

The Texans (3-11) won their eighth straight against the Jaguars (2-12), sweeping their rivals for the ninth time in the last 11 years.

The latest one capped a tumultuous week for Jacksonville, which fired Urban Meyer early Thursday to end one of the worst coaching tenures in NFL history.

The Jags showed no spark before or after the kickoff return and ended up dropping their sixth consecutive game. It was their 10th straight loss against AFC South opponents.

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The Associated Press

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